Royalty in the Distance

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In some wild Google search one day I found that I am distantly related. 5th cousin 5 times removed, to Winston Churchill through his father’s mother’s side of the family. Of course Winston was related to HRH Diana Spencer through the paternal side of the family, which could make me not related at all, unless one of the Stewarts in the line is in line with mine. The Stewarts pop up in the royal blood line all over the place. The Churchill name was once Spencer until George Spencer decided to add Churchill in the late 1700’s. I read the reason for this name change/addition twice; it still doesn’t make a lot of sense.


The Stewart line is married into 3 generations in a row. I hadn’t gotten around to seeing if they are all related, I would imagine in some way they were. I found it interesting that the meaning of Spencer and the meaning of Stewart both branch from the same place. According to some sources they both branch from the term steward.


“Derived from "sti weard" meaning the person looking after the domestic animals but by the 11th century it was applied to the high position of "steward" in the king’s household. Robert, 7th High Steward of Scotland, became king on the death of his uncle, David II. "Stuart" is the French version and became established with the close links with France, especially at the time of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. "Stuart" was the 50th most popular boys’ name to be registered in Scotland in 1999 while "Stewart" was the 95th.”


“The name Spencer or DeSpencer comes from the Latin dispensarius, or ‘le dispencer’ in Norman French, according to historians. The term ‘spence’ also means a kitchen. However the intended meaning of Spencer was ‘Steward’ or Stewart’, one who is entrusted with the management of property and finances, and that surname also derives from the same source.
1392, that the De Spencer family dropped the French appellation De, and simply became known as Spencer.”


I tend to get a bit confused when I start swinging from the branches of the British royal”tree”. Is it any wonder?


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